Name of Object:

Candlestick base


Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums

About Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums, Glasgow

Date of Object:

Hegira 8th century / AD 14th century

Museum Inventory Number:

BC 33.193

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Cast brass, with silver and niello inlay.


Height 26 cm, diameter (of base) 22.8 cm

Period / Dynasty:





A cast brass, inlaid candlestick of truncated conical form; it has bevelled ridges on both the upper and lower rims. The body is dominated by a central band of naskhi script divided into three sections. The sections are separated by three roundels containing Mamluk heraldic emblems, the style dating to the AH 8th / AD 14th century. The main decorative fields are embellished with fine floral scrolls inlaid with silver; a black niello substance is used as inlay to fill in the background of the floral patterns, thus emphasising the fine details of the scrolls. The inscription describes the patron who commissioned the candlestick. Many such candlesticks would have been presented for use in mosques, shrines and religious schools in Egypt. The Mamluk rulers of Egypt and Syria became great patrons of art and architecture. Cairo was their capital, which they ruled from AH 647 / AD 1250 to AH 922 / AD 1517.

View Short Description

This candlestick was made for presentation to a mosque or madrasa, and is decorated with the titles of the Mamluk patron who commissioned it, stating: 'by the most noble authority, lofty, lordly, great; the kingly, supportive, … provider of protection; the masterful, maintainer, prince al-Nassiri'.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis, together with analysis of the titles described in the inlaid scripts and the Mamluk heraldic emblem.

How Object was obtained:

Part of the collection given to the City of Glasgow by Sir William and Lady Burrell in 1944.

How provenance was established:

Analysis of the Mamluk heraldic emblem and inlaid scripts.

Selected bibliography:

Brend, B., Islamic Art , London, 1991.

Jones, D., and Michell, G., (ed.), The Arts of Islam , exhibition catalogue, London, 1976.

Ward, R., Islamic Metalwork, London, 1993.

Citation of this web page:

Noorah Al-Gailani "Candlestick base" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2019.;ISL;uk;Mus04;15;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-GailaniNoorah Al-Gailani

Noorah Al-Gailani is Curator for Islamic Civilisations at Glasgow Museums, Scotland. With a BA in Interior Design from the College of Fine Arts, Baghdad University and three years' experience in design and folk art preservation, she moved to the UK in 1992. On completing her MA in Museum Studies at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London in 1994, she worked as Project Officer at the Grange Museum of Community History documenting the presence of Muslim communities in the London Borough of Brent. In 1995 she was Assistant Curator, Ancient Monuments Laboratory, English Heritage, and in 1996 became Curator for John Wesley's House and the Museum of Methodism in London. She co-authored The Islamic Year: Surahs, Stories and Celebrations (Stroud: Hawthorn Press, 2002) for non-Muslim children. Since 2003 she has been based at The Burrell Collection in Glasgow, working across the city's museums to interpret Islamic art and culture, ancient and modern, through research, exhibitions and educational activities.

Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: UK4 21


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